iOrthotics develops custom made devices for the medical industry. The firm was established in 2009 in Australia and later partnered with the University of Queensland to develop its custom orthotic solution. Through their efforts, iOrthotics has experienced rapid growth, driving employment and energizing Australia’s economy.
In 2017, iOrthotics made the investment in HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology. While it was ideal for their orthotics business, they also found that other industries could benefit from their capabilities. To serve smaller companies who couldn’t justify the investment in equipment and talent, iOrthotics created a spin-off called i3DPS.
3D Printing Service BureauOBJECTIVE
Utilize the web and eCommerce to give customers in many different industries access to the unique capabilities available to i3DPS and its clientsAPPROACH
Identify technology that would enable iOrthotics to market i3DPS directly to customers via the Internet, allowing them to submit quote requests and orders online, reducing the need for manual labor, and providing a robust platform that would allow i3DPS to scale to its full potentialTECHNOLOGY
eCommerce is still relatively new to many business-to-business (B2B) companies, including service bureaus and machine shops. In the past, most of their websites were focused on informing and promoting, but weren’t very effective at selling.
Lately they’ve began to understand the importance of online quoting. In part this is due to demand. It’s estimated that B2B buyers spend 70% of their time online and purchase many of the products and services they use that way. It’s a big reason why B2B is one of the fastest growing segments in the eCommerce market.
But many simply place a webform on their sites and ask customers to enter and submit their data. Since the questions on these forms are often open-ended, there is often back-and-forth conversation between the estimator and the customer. Further, many webforms don’t allow customers to upload their files, creating more potential for error.
Some shops think this is OK, because it creates an opportunity for dialog with potential customers. But there are challenges. First, the experience can be frustrating for the customer, especially when they must deal with multiple offline inquiries. Second, it limits the amount of work each estimator can complete, prohibiting the shop from reaching its capacity.
iOrthotics recognized these and other limitations and was determined to eliminate them whenever and wherever possible.
Once iOrthotics reviewed DigiFabster’s website and determined the appropriate features and pricing plan, they were immediately able to access the necessary tools. They began by exploring the back office features and determining how to set up their pricing. DigiFabster offers several options, allowing its clients to tailor the pricing algorithm to their unique requirements.
Once the system was tested, iOrthotics was able to easily generate code for an iFrame widget, which they placed on the i3DPS website. With the code in place they were able to begin quoting jobs automatically and accepting online orders.
With DigiFabster’s system in place, i3DPS began marketing their new online capabilities. To drive traffic, they used many of the same tactics that other eCommerce companies employ, including content marketing, search engine optimization, email and other methods.
Prospective customers who visit i3DPS online are presented with a cleanly designed website that features a prominently placed button, offering an “Instant Quote.” When the button is clicked, visitors are directed to a page featuring the DigiFabster widget.
The system offers significant benefits for end-users. Now instead of filling out a web form and waiting for a salesperson to reply with additional questions, they can simply enter all the necessary information, upload their file and receive and instant quotation. If they are happy with the price, they can place their order just like any other eCommerce transaction. This saves them the time and hassle that go with offline quote requests.
But, the savings don’t only benefit end users.
“DigiFabster’s solution has benefited i3DPS in quite a few different ways“, says Mr. Hartley. “One of those is the reduced time it takes to get orders out. Its improved our workflow significantly and with that comes a reduction in cost. We’re probably saving anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes per order by reducing a lot of the administrative tasks that go along with each order, both at the front and back end of the process.”
In the early stages of a job i3DPS has found that an online solution reduces the amount of time they spend pouring over spreadsheets, sending emails and making phone calls to complete a quote and help their customers place an order. As the job moves through their facility, DigiFabster’s CRM system helps them maintain contact with their clients and update them on job status. Once the job is complete DigiFabster helps them automate shipping and payment reconciliation.
In addition, i3DPS has found that using a workflow system like the one provided by DigiFabster, helps eliminate costly mistakes. For them, automation helps reduce human error, which impacts the company both in terms of money and time.
Overall, iOrthotics is very satisfied with their decision to implement DigiFabster’s software. It creates a win-win solution where customers get easier access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise, while the company also benefits by offering an automated solution that allows them to scale their business and gain the maximum possible return on their significant investment in people, processes and technology.